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Gem of a performance due from Jewel

Describing her new album, “Picking Up the Pieces” as a bookend to her first album “Pieces of You,” Jewel will be bringing a raw and emotional performance to the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto on May 15.

“Picking Up the Pieces” is Jewel’s first studio album in five years and she expressed that it has a little bit of folk, Americana, and is very poetic.

“I have always said that I want my life to be my best work of art not just my art,” stated Jewel. “And that means really putting time into the rest of the other areas of my life, using my talents and my relationships and being a mom.”

Happy with the Indie label that she is now with, Jewel said it allows her to tour only three days a week, which works well with her son’s schedule and his schooling.

Her solo acoustic performance will be heard at the Gallo where she will have a great deal of interaction with the audience and she will take requests, sharing a more intimate experience with her fans.

“I talk quite a bit,” added Jewel. “I love interacting with the audience. I read stories from my book in and out of the show along with some poems.”

Jewel is known for hit songs like “You Were Meant For Me,” “Foolish Games,” “Who Will Save Your Soul,” and “Standing Still” that guests will enjoy along with tracks off her new album like “My Father’s Daughter” and “Pretty Faced Fool.”

Along with performing at the smaller Gallo venue, Jewel has also designed a new lighting set that is theatrical and should add to the experience.

The opening act at 7 p.m. May 15 will be JD & The Straight Shot, whose acoustic sounds will set the tone.

Singing since she was five with her parents and then performing publicly with her dad when she was eight, Jewel grew up in a family of musicians. Her grandmother, who fled Germany before the World War II, was an aspiring opera singer. She taught all her children how to sing, which continued into Jewel’s family with her dad making a couple records.

“All my aunts and uncles are very talented,” added Jewel. “I got a scholarship to a fine arts high school in Michigan and I was lucky enough to go there on a local scholarship for classical music.”

At age 15 Jewel wrote an album titled “Lullaby,” which she called a sort of mood record that helped her through her anxiety. Without going through the traditional means, she sold half a million copies of that record directly to her fans.

With mentors like Bob Dylan and Neil Young and musical inspiration from Loretta Lynn, Joni Mitchell and Dolly Parton, Jewel has carved out a long-lasting musical career.

“I grew up listening to and loving people that were very unapologetic about who they were and they didn’t use art as propaganda to make themselves seem more perfect,” said Jewel. “I like people that talk about their real lives, artists that were just sort of raw and wide open.”

She really enjoys being a singer and songwriter and has used some of her personal trials and tribulations to write a book, songs, poetry and she has also experimented with different genres.
“I have been having a lot of fun,” said Jewel. “It has been going really well.”